Austria is a country in central Europe lying to the north of Italy. It shares borders with the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland. The climate is continental and cloudy. The winters are cold with snows in lowlands and mountains. The summers are moderate with occasional showers.
Those are some of the generally know facts about Austria. However there are other facts about the country that are not generally known. In fact, quite a number of people do not these other facts about Austria. Do you know, for example, why Austrian families live together and are so close-knit? And why should you be proud of being invited to the home of an Austrian? Why are Austrians described with the words "regimentation" and "compartmentalization"?
You will get the answers to all these and many more in the following 12 cool facts about Austria.
Population: 8,223,062 (2014 Estimate)
Government: Federal Parliamentary Republic
Chancellor: Christian Kern
Language: Austrian German
President: College formed by: Doris Bur, Karlheinz Kopt, and Norbet H
Cool Facts About Austria
1. Family is the Base
Family forms the base of the Austrian social structure. Austrian families are usually small and very small. And as a result of lack of migration, the families live together, are very closely knit, and form the support base for individual members in times of need. To me, that is cool.
2. Family Activities Rampant
Family activities are very rampant in the Austrian social structure. Weekends are usually devoted to family based activities such as eating dinner together, visiting grandparents, hiking in the countryside, etc. These are basically what you notice if you visit the country.
3. Home Means Much to Them
Austrian is a much formal society and so their home means a lot to them. To them, the home is the place to relax and let their hair down. People they invite home are people that mean a lot to them like close family members and close friends. So if an Austrian invites you home, be proud because he/she has taken you as a cool, close friend.
4. Be Environmentally Clean
And in case you stay in the country and happen to live close to Austrians, you must endeavour to take care of the neighbourhood environment just like they do. Such neighbourhood environment that must be kept neat and tidy entails sidewalks, pavements, corridors, and steps.
5. "Regimentation" and "Compartmentalization"
They are very conservative people. In fact, some people have described the general behaviour of Austrians with the words "Regimentation" and "Compartmentalization". These words may be apt considering how prudent and moderate the people are!
6. Very Meticulous People
When Austrians give invitation to events, they give it way in advance of the event to ensure the invitee does not have a prior engagement. The more the importance of the event, the greater the time between the invitation and the event. Having taken the pain to put all this into consideration before inviting you, it would offend them if you to turn down the invitation at the last minute.
7. Appearance Matters a Lot
Appearance matters a lot to Austrians. To them, dressing well and presentation are important. This calls for formal dressing. And even when they are casually dressed, they are neat and very presentable. You need to learn this and be cool like them when you visit them.
8. Strict Dress Codes
Dress codes and protocols for occasions are sometimes somewhat strict. To them, different occasions and situations require different appropriate forms of dressing. For theatre and concert, for example, the dress is formal. But for restaurants, the dress is semi-formal.
9. Dress for Each Occasion
You have to learn to dress for each occasion as the Austrian dress code dictates. The reason is that some high level occasions have dress codes and will turn back invitees who are improperly dressed for it. So ask questions and do not assume; not only must the dress be cool, it must be proper.
10. No Kiss from Foreign Men
In greeting, a brief, firm handshake is the norm. During the handshake, direct eye contact is necessary. Some older men usually kiss the hand of a female. But a man from another country is not allowed to kiss the hand of an Austrian woman.
11. Be Punctual for Dinner Invites
When honouring a dinner invitation to the home of an Austrian, show respect by being very punctual, right on time! Take along consumable gifts, such as chocolates. And if you decide to take flowers, give odd numbers only and make sure you avoid red carnations, lilies, and chrysanthemums.
12. Your Table Manners
When you sit to eat, put your napkin on your laps pronto. Cut as much of your food as possible to show to your host that you appreciate the fact it is very tender. And when you finish eating, lie your utensils parallel on your plate with the handles to the right.